Without Limits: Kids with Special Needs
2017 Finalist

Without Limits: Kids with Special Needs

Calgary Herald

Calgary, Canada

Category Video

Overview of this campaign


* To create a new video product that attracts new audience and provides current audience with compelling content.

* To stretch the boundaries of our news organization’s visual storytelling.

* To allow staff to “spread their wings,” think about stories in new ways and develop expertise in long-form video.

* To creatively tell the stories of families whose members include children with special needs, and find an innovative way of sharing their worlds with visitors to our website.

* To honestly highlight the joys and struggles these families face.

* To create a video product that could be shared in our community and beyond.

* To create video that strengthens the brand of the Calgary Herald, as being an organization that produces unique and engaging content not found elsewhere in our community.

* To showcase the Herald as a news organization that reflects a myriad of diverse faces from our community.

* To demonstrate the  “human side” of one of our journalists and feature the real-life challenges she faces, just like thousands of other parents with kids who have special needs.

Results for this campaign

* Herald staff produced a compelling 40-minute video documentary that was published on our website — calgaryherald.com.

* Staff also produced five shorter complementary videos to engage viewers who had less time viewing time.

* Engagement with the videos was high. More than 61 percent of those who started viewing the 40-minute video were still watching at the end. This completion rate for the shorter videos ranged from 89.4 to 99 per cent.

* Viewers spent a total of 690 hours, 18 minutes on the videos.

* Related stories and photos were published in print, to support the videos and direct audience to them.

* Viewers came to the video from across North American and as far away as Australia; comments and social media response also came from near and far.

* Excitingly, the video is going to be shown at a local theater later this year. Ticket sales will raise funds for therapy programs for children with special needs. It’s an innovative way of our video content being shared with new audience, repurposed to assist an important segment of the city, and supportive of the branding of the Herald as a partner that is truly part of the community.

* Those who work in the field of special needs, along with dozens of parents, commended the series for its honest portrayal of the struggles they face.

* Commenters used the series as a launchpad to discuss their own challenges and make suggestions for improvement. Dialogue occurred over several weeks on the Herald’s social media channels and website.

* The videos cemented the reputation of the Herald — as a provider of meaningful, diverse content, and as an innovative storyteller.

* Based on comments, we saw both established audience and new website visitors engaging in the content.

* We received positive comments regarding a journalist sharing her own struggles so openly.

* Several staff members who worked on the project expanded their video skills and ability to tell stories in innovative fashions.


To contact a company representative about this campaign, click here for the INMA Member Directory